For the technical support team – mechanicals and engineers – it was probably the longest journey so far. Working all night, they had to revise and check every component and detail of the Honda CRF 450 Rally. At the end of the day a final road test confirmed that the all process was a success, meaning Monster Energy Honda Team riders will have their bikes in perfect conditions when they start their engines tomorrow.
This 45th edition of the Dakar Rally is already seen as one of the most competitive of the past years. After eight stages, all contenders are really close in the top standings – and this happens after more than 30 hours of special stages already completed! Monster Energy Honda Team is for sure among the ones in the front line. In the overall standings, Quintanilla is ranked 5th with a gap of just 2:45 minutes to the leader, Van Beveren is in 6th position (2:49 minutes gap to the leader) and Nacho Cornejo ninth (19:32 minutes gap to the leader).
Tomorrow the second week of the competition will start with the ninth stage, making the connection between Riyadh and Haradh. The special stage will have 359 kilometers plus a liaison of 328 km, starting with wadis and canyons. Going off the track and struggling with navigation are just two of the hazards of this special. In the end there will be a beautiful chain of dunes to overcome before reaching the bivouac.Adrien Van Beveren #42
“The sand is my playground and I just love to ride there. After this first week I was quite regular, had a stage win and managed to deal well with the pressure. To win the Dakar Rally is a dream I have pursued for a long time and will do everything at my reach to make reality. I feel motivated, confident in my skills and really happy with the performance of my Honda CRF 450 Rally. So let the game continue!”
José Ignacio Cornejo #11
“It was good to stop for one day after such an intense week. I am strong at the top 10. I know I have made some mistakes, but my goal is still there. I want to attack the top positions and I know navigation will play a key role in that. I put a smile on my face also to know we are moving to other kinds of terrains where sand will be dominant.”
Pablo Quintanilla #7
“I can’t wait to start this second week of the Dakar Rally. I know there will be changes in the terrain and we will have more and more sand and dunes. Like my teammates, this is where I feel more comfortable. All my opponents are right now in a very short distance - less than three minutes - so everything is open in terms of podium positions”
Ruben Faria - General Manager
“The first week of the Dakar is over. Due to several factors, especially the weather with rain and cold days, but also to many hard rocky tracks, it was a tremendous effort for the riders and for the bikes. I also have to highlight the impressive rhythm of the race, with the top contenders separated by really tiny differences. We are in a good position for this second week. The terrain will have more sand and all our riders feel quite comfortable there, so we are confident in their skills and talent to ride the Honda CRF 450 Rally to the top positions.”